What's Ailing You?
You notice your child sneezing, coughing or suffering from a runny nose. So, is it allergies or a common cold? That's tough to say; many of the symptoms overlap. Knowing the difference, however, is important so you can treat your child -- or yourself -- properly.
According to mayoclinic.com, "Most adults are likely to have a common cold two to four times a year. Children, especially preschoolers, may have a common cold as many as six to 10 times annually."
One surefire way to determine whether you or your child is suffering from a common cold or allergies is to note the duration of symptoms. A common cold should subside within a week or two, but certain allergies can be persistent if not properly treated.
Common cold symptoms
Here are some definitive characteristics of a common cold as determined by the Mayo Clinic:
A common cold can be defined as a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract -- your nose and throat. Any of more than 200 viruses can cause a common cold, however, so symptoms can vary. Generally, they include a few of the following:
Should you see a doctor?
It is important to note that a common cold is generally not associated with a high-grade fever or exhaustion. Mayoclinic.com suggests that adults seek medical attention if they suffer from:
Because children are more susceptible to becoming sicker than adults from the common cold, they should see a doctor immediately if they suffer from the following:
Allergies typically are related to something environmental such as pollen, molds, pet dander, food, medicine or insect stings. If you notice some of the above symptoms after coming in contact with a foreign substance, you probably have allergies rather than a common cold.
Seek a doctor's counsel to determine whether you have allergies and, if so, the factors to which you are allergic. She'll typically perform a skin or blood test with a variety of substances to determine what is triggering your allergic reaction.
MORE ON ALLERGIES
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